Gref: people's incomes to increase within three years

MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian economics ministry forecasts that the real incomes of the population will increase by 39% and the average monthly salaries, by 44% in the next three years. Minister German Gref said it at a cabinet meeting on Thursday when presenting the social-economic development forecast for 2006-2008.

According to him, the active social policy aimed at raising people's well-being is to become a priority measure for speeding up economic growth in the mid-term prospect.

Gref said that the salaries of the public sector staff were to increase by 50% in real terms in the medium-term period.

Besides, the average pension is to grow by 70% and the social pension will double to a pensioner's subsistence wage by 2008, the minister said.

At the same time, economics ministry believes that the income replacement ratio (the percentage of working income that an individual needs to maintain the same standard of living in retirement) would be maintained at the same level in the medium-term prospect and may even decrease, the minister said.

Gref said that the improvement of the investment climate was a crucial way towards speeding up economic growth. To this end, the government has adopted a package of investment oriented tax innovations, including those connected with the improvement of tax inspections. These measures taken together must ensure an additional GDP growth by 0.1-0.2%, Gref said.

It is also planned to promote foreign investment in Russia. The realization of certain innovation measures may turn Russia from a capital exporter into a capital importer capital beginning in 2007, Gref said.

The government also intends to raise the effectiveness of the state acquisition system and to use all possible measures to support export, as well as to establish a budgetary investment fund of 70 billion rubles in 2006, the Russian economic development minister said.

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